When a visitor comes to the site, it is relatively easy to identify her company and geographical location, Longo says. The hard part is combining this raw data with business information from sources such as D&B/Hoovers and Lexis Nexis in order to get much more detailed information. “We have a lot of technology driving matching, linking, and resolving entries correctly,” Longo says.
If the user decides to buy contact information, algorithms score the results based on how appropriate they are to his product. The system also checks against contacts that the user already has, in order to avoid selling duplicates. Longo also stressed that all contacts in Demandbase’s system have the chance to opt out.
Laura Ramos, a principal analyst at Forrester Research who focuses on business-to-business marketing trends and technology, says that services like Demandbase could prove useful, but adds that it may be hard to measure its impact on sales and marketing. “Until we can demonstrate that automation actually gives a reduced cost of customer acquisition,” Ramos says, businesses may be reluctant to spend money on such services. Still, she believes that marketing departments could use Demandbase Stream to build very specific advertising campaigns, targeted at the exact type of company already visiting their website. Ramos also notes that competition with other startups in the field is fierce withother start-ups, including Zoominfo, Leadlander, and Hubspot, is fierce. But Longo says that Demandbase does a better job of integrating relevant data.
Demandbase recently received funding from Adobe Systems, Altos Ventures, and Sigma Partners, and Longo says that the company is working on adding support for the professional social-networking site LinkedIn, so that a user can see links between his network of contacts and visitors to a corporate website.